Brainstorming an Idea for Your Side Hustle

How to come up with a winning business idea that you’re passionate about

Happy Friday, readers! I hope you have a fun weekend ahead! I’ll be away with some girlfriends. Our main order of business will be getting acquainted with local wines. Cheers!

Today we will cover the process of generating potential ideas for your Side Hustle. This is one of my favorite parts of launching a business because it is the step when you can be the most creative. In the next post, we will discuss how to select one of your ideas to move forward with.

In my opinion, the best way to come up with a viable business is to brainstorm many ideas. Because small businesses have a high rate of failure, you’ll be setting yourself up for success if you select the best idea out of many rather than going with the first idea that pops into your head.

What is a brainstorm? Brainstorming is the process of recording all ideas that occur to you in response to a problem statement, no matter how outlandish an idea may seem. No idea should be discounted.

In this case, your brainstorm will be on the topic of potential business ideas. If done correctly, you can expect this process to take several weeks, if not several months. I would recommend to making this an ongoing process for yourself, rather than sitting down for a discrete time period to think of ideas (although you can do so!). I’ve been brainstorming ideas for several years now. Whenever I have an idea, I open the Notes App on the iPhone and record it there. Thinking of and recording ideas takes practice and patience.

Questions to get your brainstorm started:

  • Are you frustrated with something in your life? Ask yourself if there’s a potential solution to whatever you might be frustrated with. You may be able to turn this solution into a business idea.
  • What are your passions? Ask yourself if there’s a gap in service offerings that have to do with what you love most. Filling this gap may be a business idea.
  • With regard to a business you frequent, do you ever think, “I could operate that business better!”? Perhaps this is an opportunity to open an operation that offers a similar service, but provides more value to customers in some way. This is also a business idea.

Guidelines for your brainstorm:

  • Most importantly, let the ideas flow, do not reject any ideas no matter how “silly” they may be!
  • Be gentle with yourself; not every idea will be your best.
  • This is your chance to be creative! Remind yourself that a creative idea, even if it does not sound plausible at first, may still be able to be monetized.
  • Record every single idea! No exceptions. Sometimes my thoughts make me laugh out loud because they’re so ridiculous, but that’s part of the process. Write all ideas down!
  • Have fun!

You might say, “But I’ve never thought of one business idea! How am I supposed to come up with a whole list of them?” I believe there are prime conditions you can create for yourself to stimulate your brainstorm. Your mind should be relaxed enough to be able to generate creative ideas.

Ways kick off the creative process:

  • Get nerdy! Learn all you can. Learning about new trends and about problems people are experiencing can lead you to new business ideas.
  • Read newspapers and books
  • Watch the news
  • Take classes in something you’re interested in
  • Watch video recordings of university classes
  • Learn new trends in the world and learn about problems people are experiencing. Broadening your horizons is the best way to do this.
  • Travel. Broadening your horizons is another great way to generate ideas on how the world could be a better place.
  • Do something you love to do! Sometimes, doing something you’re passionate about allows your brain to relax enough to start getting creative with your ideas.
  • Do something that you find peaceful and have a no electronics policy. When you’re not distracted by cat memes and internet induced FOMO your brain will have enough downtime to think of creative ideas! Some thoughts on peaceful places you can go are below:

→ Going to the beach with a book

→ Laying in your bed for an entire day

→ Hiking with your dog

→ Running a new trail

Keeping track of your brainstorm:

It’s important to have a robust system in place to keep track of your ideas. I’m a pen and paper kind of gal, but sometimes recording the ideas electronically is just easier. Let’s be real, you always have your phone on you, so you can use an app as a central repository to keep all ideas in. I keep things simple and make lists in the Notes app that comes with your phone, but if you have recommendations leave them in the comments below. I’m always searching for a better way to do things!

My personal system requires reconciling between paper sources occasionally, but what is important is that it works for me! When I’m out and about, I use the Notes app on my iPhone. When I’m in bed, I use a pad of paper on my nightstand. When I’m at work, I use my beloved Passion Planner (when I went to find the link I also found out that they’ve put 2016 planners on sale at $1 in case you want to try one out!!).

When you have a few ideas down, it’s important to define the below for each idea:

  • What is the problem this idea will solve?
  • What is the value the idea will provide to a potential consumer?
You’re all set — get out there and let the ideas flow! I am excited for you! This is your time. Need help? Want to talk through your ideas? Shoot me a mail.

If you like what you’re reading, click the ❤ below!

Talk soon. XO,

Chelsey